In 2021, Royal Dutch Shell expects to make a net profit of $20.1 billion from its operations. This comes as Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) was recognized by industry regulator, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), for deliberate and active investment in the country’s critical gas infrastructure to supply gas for powering industries in key locations.
Shell returned to profitability last year as oil prices skyrocketed due to recovering demand and economies reopening after pandemic lockdowns.
Shell stated in a statement that the profit was a tremendous accomplishment following a loss after tax of $21.7 billion in 2020.
Shell’s CEO, Ben van Beurden, said 2021 would be a watershed moment for the company, noting that the company had also simplified its name and structure and outlined plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Following the strong earnings, Shell announced a US$8.5 billion share repurchase program (7.5 billion euros).
Meanwhile, Farouk Ahmed, the Chief Executive Officer of NMDPRA, stated that Nigeria requires increased gas infrastructure to deepen domestic gas distribution across the country.
Ahmed made the remarks during a recent meeting in Abuja with the Managing Director of SNG, Ed Ubong, and the General Manager of Shell Energy Nigeria, Markus Hector, to discuss how to deepen investments in domestic gas operations in Nigeria.
“I commend Shell Nigeria Gas for investing heavily in critical gas infrastructure to supply gas for power generation to industries,” Ahmed said, adding that his agency was putting in place the right framework to encourage competition, competitive prices, supply flexibility, and gas infrastructure investments.
“The Federal Government’s desire to boost infrastructure development, particularly in the midstream, necessitated the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), and the NMDPRA will put in place the necessary regulations to make business more appealing to investors,” he explained.
The NMDPRA CEO urged SNG to remain transparent, responsible, and to practice good corporate governance in its operations in the country.
Ed Ubong, Managing Director of SNG, emphasized the importance of clear guidelines and regulations that support and protect investments in boosting investor confidence in the industry.
“SNG currently distributes natural gas for power generation to industrial clusters in Ogun, Abia, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Lagos States, and we are currently exploring markets along the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline project for investment opportunities to take gas to industries in northern Nigeria,” he said.
In a similar vein, Mr Markus Hector, General Manager of Shell Energy Nigeria, praised the Federal Government for enacting the Petroleum Industry Act, which he said would support the growth of Nigeria’s gas industry.
“There are numerous business opportunities for Shell’s gas business in Nigeria, and we intend to significantly increase our investment in gas distribution under the right regulatory environment,” Hector said.